NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has agreed to examine a plea to provide legal aid to women, who face abuse at their matrimonial homes. The plea also seeks allotment of shelter homes where such women can stay after lodging complaint against their husband and in-laws.
The apex court has issued notice to the Centre, seeking its response by December 6 on a PIL filed by an NGO, ‘We the Women’. A bench headed by Justice UU Lalit, has, however, turned down a plea to issue notice to all states.
The NGO had moved the Supreme Court seeking to plug massive gaps in infrastructure under Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act across the country for providing effective legal aid to females abused in matrimonial homes and creating shelter homes for them post lodging of complaints against husbands and in-laws.
The organisation in its PIL said domestic violence continues to be the most common crime against females in India despite the DV Act coming into force more than 15 years back. “As per the National Crime Records Bureau) report for the year 2019, out of 4.05 lakh reported cases categorised under ‘crimes against women’, over 30% were domestic violence cases,” it said.
Terming this alarming figure as just the “tip of the iceberg”, the NGO had said in general, Indian women refrain from complaining about the violence they routinely face at matrimonial homes in fear of loss of reputation of the family, the ensuing social stigma and also because of lack of awareness about the provisions of law and the remedies provided thereunder.

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